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Nonimmigrant Visa: Tourism & Visitors


The U.S. Consulate General, Hamilton, Bermuda can only accept visa appointment requests from Bermudians,  Bermuda residents or individuals physically present in our consular district.  The provisions of 22 CFR 41.101(a) preclude acceptance or processing of a regular non immigrant visa application when the applicant is neither resident of nor physically present in this consular district at the time of application, including completion and submission of the DS-160.      

Please note, we are not accepting out of district visa appointments at this time. 

Important: if applicable please see Visa Exemptions for Bermudians.

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.  Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Please visit the Department of State’s Visitor Visa website for additional information, to include examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa.

Visa Waiver Program

You may use VWP if you are a citizen or a national of a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) designated country and meet the following criteria:

  • Plan to travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less;
  • Starting January 12, 2009, have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA).  ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); note that multiple ESTA applications can be submitted at the same time for persons traveling in groups.
  • Are traveling for tourism or business;
  • Carry a machine-readable passport which, in most cases, must be valid for at least six months after your expected departure from the U.S.;
  • Have a return ticket or onward ticket to most non U.S. destinations;
  • Please visit Visa Waiver Program (state.gov) for additional information.

You will need a visa, and may not use VWP, if you any of these criteria apply to you:

  • You are not a citizen or a national of a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) designated country;
  • Intend to remain in the United States for longer than 90 days;
  • Have a criminal record;
  • Intend to travel by private/charter aircraft or sea carriers;
  • Want to work or study in the United States, including working as a foreign journalist.  This includes attending secondary or tertiary school, and paid or unpaid employment (including au-pairs, interns, working journalists, and government representatives on official business).  For more on the appropriate visa classifications for these activities, please see Travel.state.gov;
  • Have been deported or refused admission to the U.S. before, or failed to comply with a previous VWP admission or visa.  This includes overstaying a previous admission.
  • Do not meet the Visa Waiver Program Requirements.

Travelers With Criminal Records

  • Convictions for certain crimes may make you ineligible to travel to the U.S.  The only way to know for sure if your criminal record makes you ineligible is to apply for a visa.  Only a consular officer can determine your visa eligibility.
  • You need to bring a copy of your Criminal History Report with you to the visa interview.
  • If you require a waiver to obtain medical treatment in the U.S., you must also submit:
    • a letter of referral from your local physician stating treatment/procedure is not available locally
    • appointment letter from receiving physician in the United States
    • proof of health insurance coverage
    • if there is any amount not covered by insurance, you will need to submit a bank statement or other explanation of how any co-payments will be covered
  • Even if your conviction makes you ineligible to travel to the U.S., you may be able to obtain a temporary waiver of this ineligibility.  You should discuss this with the consular officer at the time of the interview.  Waiver processing can take 6–8 months, so if you think you may require a waiver, please apply early.  We always recommend you do not make any financial commitments for travel until you have received a visa.
  • If you have had any minor traffic offenses which did not result in an arrest or conviction, you may use the VWP, provided you are otherwise qualified.  If the traffic offense occurred while you were in the United States, and you have an outstanding fine against you or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest.  You should resolve these issues before traveling by contacting the court where you were scheduled to appear.  If you do not know the address of the court, information is available on the U.S. Courts website.

How to Apply

The U.S. Consulate General, Hamilton, Bermuda can only accept visa appointment requests from Bermudians,  Bermuda residents or individuals physically present in our consular district.  The provisions of 22 CFR 41.101(a) preclude acceptance or processing of a regular non immigrant visa application when the applicant is neither resident of nor physically present in this consular district at the time of application, including completion and submission of the DS-160.   

Please note, we are precluded from accepting out-of-district visa applications from individuals not physically present in our consular district. 

  1. Check the Validity of Your Passport – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements.  If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
  2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.
  3. Collect any Supporting Documentation – A valid passport with one (1) clear page to put the visa onto, a DS-160 confirmation page with the uploaded 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, and the completed DS-160 form listed in Step 2 are required for the visa interview.  Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:
    • Proof of permission to reside in Bermuda (status, work/spousal permit)
    • Proof of employment, salary, pension, and or financial solvency (job letter, pay stub, bank statement);
    • Birth certificates for minors (children under the age of 18);
    • The purpose of your trip;
    • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
    • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

    Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.

  4. Schedule an Interview Appointment – Click here to book your appointmentPlease make note of your appointment day and time; we are unable to confirm your appointment details.  If you miss your appointment, you will be responsible for rescheduling a new appointment.If you have urgent travel and there are no available appointments that coincide with your desired travel date, please book the next available appointment.  After booking the next available appointment, email us at HamiltonConsulate@state.gov outlining the need for an expedited appointment.  Please attach a copy of your DS-160 confirmation page to the email and include the date you would like to travel.  If the circumstances warrant, we will do our best to accommodate your request.  If we are not able to accommodate your request, please monitor our website for any appointment availabilities.If you do not see any appointment availabilities, please continue to monitor the appointment schedule as appointments will become available if other applicants cancel as well as when we add additional appointments.

    The following is a list of circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments:

    • an immediate relative’s death, grave illness, or life threatening accident requiring travel to or via the United States.  Please include the name, relationship place and description of the situation, and contact information for the attending physician or funeral home;
    • urgent medical treatment for the applicant, family member, or their minor child;
    • urgent travel to resume employment or studies in the United States.
  5. Bring Your Passport and Visa Application Forms – Bring the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet with the uploaded 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, from Step 2, a valid passport, and all other supporting documentation to the Consulate for your scheduled interview date.
  6. Pay the MRV Fee – Payment for visa applications is CASH ONLY, with U.S. or Bermudian currency, or a combination of both, acceptable.  Please consult the Department of State’s Fees for Visa Services website and be prepared to pay the appropriate fee, in cash, for the visa you are applying for on the day of your visa interview.  Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries may be required to also pay a reciprocity fee at the time of their visa interview which can be paid by cash or credit card.
  7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer – Each applicant must appear in person for an interview, including minor children.  If you are applying for your minor child, you will need that child’s birth certificate. During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel.  You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process.
  8. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa – If you are issued the visa, you will be given a date and time to collect your passport and visa, typically in about one week.

Case Status

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Visa Denials on Travel.State.gov.

After the Interview

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.  Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

While in the United States, you may be able to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) change your nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

Requesting a change of status from USCIS while you are in the United States and before your authorized stay expires does not require that you apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the United States while USCIS processes your change of status request, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Information

Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.

We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.

Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date.  Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.